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Connacht Tribune

Galway writer’s Mafiosa novel making international waves

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They say that good things come in threes – but that’s not the only reason that the final instalment of  trilogy is already making international waves.

Galway writer Catherine Doyle, who is at the vanguard of the Youth Adult genre, has just released Mafiosa – the third and final book in the Blood for Blood trilogy – and it has already gone down a storm.

Mafiosa tells the story of Sophie, who – protected by an infamous mafia family – is living a dangerous lie, while pretending to lead a normal life.

Her heart belongs to a killer and Sophie’s the prime target of a rival clan. She’s determined to seek revenge on her mother’s murderers, but can she pay the price – can she be a mafiosa?

It’s the final instalment in Catherine’s YA Blood for Blood series which started with Vendetta and Inferno – and a host of her fellow Youth Adult writers made the trip from the UK to Dublin for the official launch last week.

So, too did a host of her old school friends from the Taylor’s Hill Leaving Cert class of 2007, supporting the 26 year old whose own story publishing history reads like a novel in its own right – after she was spotted by the publisher who’d previously signed JK Rowling!

The 26-year-old, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Literature & Publishing, wrote her debut book, Vendetta, in secret, spending the twilight hours tied to the computer for 29 consecutive nights until the first draft emerged.

She then attached the first three chapters to emails addressed to potential agents. It was only after she had been taken on by her preferred agent in London that she revealed to her family that she had written a book and was now trying to get a publishing deal.

“They were so relieved, they were wondering what on earth I was doing in my room all that time not sleeping,” she said.

The real icing on the cake came when agent Claire Wilson broke the news that Chicken House were interested in signing the Galway author.

Its owner Barry Cunningham had signed JK Rowling after her Harry Potter novel had been rejected by twelve other publishers, a tale that Catherine had written about in her college thesis.

Catherine was raised in a house full of books with her two brothers by her mother, Renmore-based GP Grace Doyle, and her father, principal of ‘the Bish’ boys’ secondary school, Ciaran Doyle.

It was her mum who convinced Catherine to join her on a creative writing course as a favour – but Catherine quickly found that her confidence soared and she gained the self-belief necessary to put pen to paper.

Her meteoric rise to the top of the book charts continues unabated and Mafiosa is already a best seller – with talk of movie adaptations already in the air.

It looks like the sky’s the limit for the Galway girl who is now a literary success story – to the power of three!

Connacht Tribune

SMEs set their sights on Euro expansion

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Kevin Moran of IMS Marketing accepting the ‘Excellence in Practice Silver Award’ from the European Foundation for Management Development, with Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon and Nan Gou, Programme Director, ESMT Berlin.

Irish entrepreneurs have the skills, products and services to break down barriers across Europe, according to one Galway-based marketing agency that is helping SMEs enter new markets.

Kevin Moran, Managing Director of IMS Marketing in Galway, said that this creativity and enthusiasm allows Irish entrepreneurs to punch above their weight in new markets.

He was speaking after his IMS Marketing was honoured for its ‘Enter-the-Eurozone’ Programme which has helped 19 SMEs break into Europe.

And he urged all SMEs to continue to set their ambitions on export markets as we emerge from the Covid-19 restrictions and revisit the challenges of Brexit.

Mr Moran said that IMS Marketing, along with its partners, Enterprise Ireland and ESMT Berlin, was delighted to receive the Excellence in Practice Silver Award’ from the European Foundation for Management Development.

“The vision for the ‘Enter the Eurozone’ Programme was to enable progressive Irish SMEs  to enter a new Eurozone market in a strategically led way,” he said.

“Export markets will be more important than ever for Irish companies and jobs as they now face the twin threat of Brexit and a post Covid19 economic recession.”

Accepting the Award’ from the EFMD, Mr Moran said that his company witnessed the strength of the Irish SME sector during the delivery of the award-winning ‘Enter the Eurozone’ programme.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Businesses miss out on restart grant

Stephen Corrigan

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Mr. Kenneth Deery. Photo: Andrew Downes, Xposure
CEO of Galway Chamber Kenny Deery

Just one-third of Galway business eligible for the Government’s Restart Grant have actually applied for the scheme which aims to bolster small enterprise as Covid-19 restrictions ease.

It was revealed this week that businesses in Galway City and County have received almost €4.5 million in grant aid under the scheme which offers grants of between €2,000 and €10,000 to commercial rates-liable enterprises.

To qualify for the €250 million scheme, businesses must have an annual turnover of less than €5 million; have 50 or fewer employee; and have a projected loss of revenue of 25% or more.

CEO of Galway Chamber Kenny Deery said there were many Galway businesses that had yet to apply for the grants, despite the fact that they were entitled to do so.

Only around 1,100 of the about 3,000 businesses in the city and county that may be due a pay-out have applied, and confusion over eligibility was contributing to that issue, he explained.

“Some businesses are of the view that they’re not eligible, but they need to realise that even if they only paid €500 or €1,000 in rates in 2019, they could still be eligible for €2,000,” he said.

Those who were in rates arrears were also entitled to the grant, said Mr Deery, adding that as long as a business had a rates liability in 2019, they could apply for the grant.

“The payment have just started being paid out to those who applied about two months ago, so it has been slow in terms of progressing those applications.

“What I would be saying to small businesses is that they would need to sell a lot of cups of coffee or a lot of sandwiches to make €2,000 or €5,000 in profit,” said Mr Deery.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway embraces Mass changes

Stephen Corrigan

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Parish Priest Fr Hugh Clifford wearing a mask during the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass in St Joseph’s Church, Kinvara, on Saturday evening. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Parishioners in Kinvara made a long-awaited return to weekend services on Saturday at St Joseph’s Church, and while it was far from business as usual, mass-goers expressed delight at their return to the church.

Parish Priest Fr Hugh Clifford said while there were necessary changes to what people would be accustomed to, the congregation was understanding of why that was necessary and thankful that the implementation of these measures meant they could return to services after a four-month absence.

As part of Phase 3 of the easing of restrictions, services of up to 50 people were allowed, and to respect physical distancing, that meant two seats in every three were blocked off, said Fr Hugh.

“Households can sit together, but at the moment, we have the limit of 50 people, but we hope that will change in the next phase. We have to advise people who are more vulnerable that they should consider staying at home for the time being,” he explained.

The obligation to attend Mass has been lifted since the outbreak of the Covid-19 crisis, continued Fr Hugh, meaning that people need not worry if they are unable to attend.

For the Eucharist, the Priest and Eucharistic Ministers wear face coverings and use hand sanitiser to ensure there is no cross-contamination, with Communion administered to people in their seats, said Fr Hugh.

See full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also add the paper to your online grocery delivery; you can purchase a digital edition here, or you can have it delivered at no extra charge by An Post; full details are on this website.

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